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Regional consensus crucial to Afghan Peace Negotiations: SAARC

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(Last Updated On: September 25, 2020)

Foreign Ministers of SAARC member states have emphasized the importance of the regional consensus for the success of the Afghan Peace Negotiations (APN).

In the SAARC Information meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, which was held virtually on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Acting Foreign Minster Mohmmad Haneef Atmar thanked SAARC member-states for their support to the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

According to a statement released on Friday, Atmar called on the participating countries to extend necessary support to Afghanistan for achieving “a humanitarian ceasefire between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban, based on the relevant UN Security Council Resolution.” 

“Atmar stressed that the humanitarian ceasefire would help enable relevant institutions of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to provide medical services to the affected communities living throughout Afghanistan,” the statement read.

The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is the regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union of states in South Asia.

Its member states are Afghanistan, joined the organization in 2007, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

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Qureshi warns against peace ‘spoilers’ during Hekmatyar meeting

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2020)

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reportedly cautioned Hizb-e Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar on Monday against “spoilers” in the Afghan peace process and emphasized the importance of being vigilant.

Hekmatyar arrived in Pakistan on Monday as part of ongoing efforts by Afghan officials and politicians to push for peace in the country. 

According to a statement issued by Qureshi’s office, he reaffirmed Pakistan’s desire to further strengthen “the close fraternal relations between the two countries.”

“The Foreign Minister stressed the importance of an inclusive, broad-based and comprehensive political settlement through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process. 

“The Foreign Minister underscored that all parties must honor their respective commitments and work for reduction in violence leading to ceasefire. The Afghan leaders must seize this historic opportunity to achieve durable and sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

“The Foreign Minister also underlined the importance of exercising vigilance and guarding against the role of ‘spoilers’, both within and outside,” read the statement.

Qureshi also brought up the issue of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and said it was important to make their return as part of the peace process. 

Hekmatyar is on a three-day visit to Pakistan and will meet with other high-ranking officials. 

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Abdullah meets Rouhani to discuss Afghan Peace Process

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2020)

Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah on Monday met with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani in his ongoing efforts to garner support from regional countries for the Afghan peace process. 

After his meeting with Rouhani, Abdullah said: “We exchanged views on  Afghan Peace Process, talks in Doha and bilateral relations.

“I thanked His Excellency and Islamic Republic of Iran for their principled and continued support to Afghanistan and the peace process.”

He also said Iran, as a neighbor, can play an important role to help advance the peace process in Afghanistan.

Speaking to Iran’s IRNA news, Abdullah said the people of Afghanistan want a lasting and acceptable peace for all Afghans, as well as the preservation of the achievements made over the past 19 years.

He also said cooperation between regional states can help advance the peace process and negotiations and achieve a successful outcome.

“The voice of the neighboring country is very important to us in consultation at the regional and international level,” he said.

 

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District governor killed in an ambush in Logar

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2020)

Abdul Hai Zazai, the governor of Zazai Maidan district in Khost province, was killed in a targeted attack in Logar province.

According to local officials, Zazai was ambushed and killed by unknown armed men in Logar’s Altamur area while he was traveling to the capital Kabul.

The incident took place on Monday afternoon.

The officials stated that one of the Zazai’s bodyguards was also killed and another one was wounded in the attack.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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